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Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Travel Size Build


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Hello everyone,

I wanted to share a project that I'm working on... PRS Travel Size guitar build. 

Disclaimer: I'm new to guitar building and mods... So, will likely be asking around for advice for learning and lurking around all the cool projects, gear, and axes here.

Anyhow, inspiration for my project is my own CU22 model, though, it'll be more like a CE type (with bolt-on neck).   

Of a travel size, the body portion is essentially the size of a regular sheet a paper, at 8.5"W x 11.75"L.   The neck will feature 24 frets at 25.5" scale length.  Attached are some pics to share.

And some progress videos as well

Part 1: https://youtu.be/TpcWkaX64eg 

Part 2: https://youtu.be/rmdxkFaUScM


In the next steps, I plan on setting the neck angle break and establishing the neck plane. I'll be routing all of the cavities.  First time going through these steps... so am a bit nervous to not wreck the nice wood I have. I appreciate any tips/constructive comments you all might have. 

thanks for viewing!










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I have a question of a next step...

Background: I will be using a maple bolt-on neck, which has a short tenon. I'm now thinking about extending that tenon longer to underneath the neck PU.  will still be bolt on (via screw and threaded insert), but with the bolts farther apart (length wise) to minimize rocking/torquing (that's the idea, at the least).   Was thinking of gluing on an extension piece that is about 2" longer from scrap maple; then will apply two bolts (via threaded insert) into the extended piece and two bolts into the original part. 

Question: Would this help for a stronger neck joint, or not really?  (this affects a next step of routing the neck pocket ... hopefully just once! lol)


thanks in advance,

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Tony, I just stumbled on this and have a few comments.   First, for what its worth, my background.   I used to be very active at HC but with the general state of the forum I don't come around much any more.   I am a hobby builder with a total of 26 guitars to date - a mixture of acoustic and electrics, and a variety of neck construction methods.    I'm currently somewhat active at the building subforums at TDPRI, and I recently wrote a thread about thinking about neck geometry.   You might find this helpful


There are a variety of ways to get  to your final geometry - have your bridge in hand and take careful measurements before you cut any wood.

I question your use of 25.5 scale on a travel guitar - personally I would shorten it  (doesn't PRS use 25.0 for their standard lenght).   I would consider 24.5 or so, that is the scale I use on my parlor acoustics and it makes a very playable guitar.   Also think about the size and shape of the head.     I also suggest thinking about what you are going to do for a case - I learned the hard way to build to fit an available case when possible (custom cases are very expensive).   That becomes even more important for a travel instrument - I would not want to put it in a cheap gig bag.

Next question - did you do any internal routing before gluing the cap to the body?   You can do it all from the front and back but then you have to cover things up with plastic - it would be a shame to do that to the lovely maple.   

I'm not sure what you mean about gluing on an extension to your neck to make a longer tenon.   All of my set neck guitars have long tenons that extend almost all the way thru the neck pickup cavity but it is a continuous piece of wood.   There is no reason not to use bolts and inserts in a M&T neck, particularly if you plan to remove the neck as part of the travel feature.   It might be slightly problematic if it extends under the p/u and you plan to remove it.

Anyway, I'll check back here from time to time but I think this will be a pretty slow place for you to get information from other builders.   There are some other forums (like TDPRI) that are much more active - you might want to post questions there.   

Good luck

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